Impact on the No Child Left Behind Act

Abstract

This essay discusses issues relating to the NCLB Act of 2001 of the United States public educational system. The researcher seeks to analyze the point under consideration in discussing advantages and disadvantages of the NCLB Act of 2001. The researcher first discusses the general Act and the period of its setting as a law. The researcher also provides supportive and critical views over this act by considering the available literature related to the subject matter. The paper will also seek to answer the question whether the implementation of the act is helpful to the students, and the community and its impacts on teachers; it is aimed at providing positive and negative effects.

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Introduction

The NCLB Act of 2001 was the result of Massachusetts Senators Kennedy’s and Californian Rep. George Miller’s work was passed in 2001 in the House of Representatives in the United States by the Senate and signed by president Bush to become law in 2002. It championed the promotion of education of children by requiring that there should be additional accountability standards among schools and school districts, and states. It gave more flexibility to parents pertaining choosing which school to select for their children and laid more emphasis on the ESEA Act of 1965 promoting increased reading. The NCLB based on the expectation of raising individual performance by increasing educational goals supported setting and functioning of the established aims. The law has been supported on the basis that it can give an indication on what schools are not teaching properly. The gap of achievement of the disabled and the disadvantaged could reduce such interventions. The law, however, has had been criticized; it is connected with its possibility to reduce learning and effective instructions, because states may be forced to bring down the achievement goals and encourage tutors to teach what is only to be tested. Teachers are also required to apply methodic that has been proven as working (“Accountability for Assessment Results in the No Child Left Behind Act: What It Means for Children with Disabilities,” 2003). The law also enhances the IDEA-Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by increasing accountability at state, district and school level for the disabled students.

Literature Review and Analysis

The Advantages of the NCLB Act

The law has been aimed at providing the schools with the obligation of accountability for the disabled students. English as Second Language learners, minority and disadvantages students who were earlier on often denied exposure and access to the general curriculum. Special educators reported to have no measures in indicating the learning adequately of the disabled who are to enter workforce and post-secondary education. This does not only benefit those with disabilities, because the rest are also covered. In helping to provide good content standards (worked out in help with the parents, guardians, educators, business people and others) for the purpose of grading, the requirement makes sure that students achieve what is required and makes the checking of the education standards possible. The state assessments allow accommodation of materials for students to prove their skills and knowledge; they provide frequent breaks and others as defined in the IEPs. Individualized Educational Programs for those with disabilities ensure that students are accommodated as per their needs. Students with disabilities can be assessed via alternate assessments. Thus, the law considers to allow proper participation for students removing barriers such as physical impairment hindering student performance.

The parents are also provided with improvement data for their children; so, teachers can have consequences if no adequate results achieved. Parents can therefore monitor and access students with the help of their own efforts based on the individualized and public annual reports in the AYP-Adequate Yearly Progress plan. Focused on the developed standards by individual states to reach proficiency level in education, the states determine the required regular incremental from year to year for the learners to reach the level of proficiency within a period of twelve years before 2013-2014. Individual results may end up improving on the account that a particular percentage of students determined by the state are required to achieve the level of proficiency so that the school avoids being list as needing improvement. The program is inclusive considering that disaggregated results are responsible for determination of the schools AYP, on a separate arrangement. The disaggregated results ensure fair inclusion of those students from low socio-economic status, those with disabilities, English language learners and students of various ethnic groups. Mathematics and Reading were the basis for the No Child is Left Out act, while science was to add in 2007-2008. The act requires that the results announced for particular disadvantaged students like economic and disability matters as well as ethnic groups. This may indicate carelessness of particular people whenever the state policies are unfair and thus may form a basis for the necessary corrective measures for the laws. The policy may help to ensure that other sectors like the economy, business, politics, and issues like those that discrimination on racial and social background that may affect the education of children does not do so. There are arguments that NCLB has been supported on the account of local standards failure providing oversight of special education; it was stated that inclusion of longitudinal data in the determination of the AYPs is made possible in the program , and the system discriminated formally, for example on basis of socio-economic status. (Mizell, 2003) The government has had considered to solve problems of complacency at continual decreasing performance of schools and teachers teaching outside their areas of expertise, after the failure of students by the local government. Thus, implementation of these ideas is to help the students and the communities in improving educational standards, accountability and involvement of the community in educational matters as well as achieve good performance in education through fair means.

The Disadvantages of the NCLB Act

The advantages and requirements discussed above present ideal situations of the arrangements. In its implementation, the program has encountered difficulties that required the attentions from the government. It has had been mentioned earlier in this paper that the program has been criticized as encouraging teachers to teach what can be tested and reduce effective learning and instructions. All public schools are set to receive sanctions and rewards if they do not perform well on the basis set by the states. Title 1 schools are required to show adequate progress and penalized as needing improvements after two years. School improvement is one of the requirements during the first year of needing improvement although technical assistance is availed. Pupils may be granting choice of public school. Supplemental educational services will offer to students who are disadvantaged, and who remains at the school; in addition to the normal instructions. Teachers should get additional qualification after several years of failing to achieve on adequate yearly progress. Thus, teachers are under obligation to deliver and thus may be forced design “tactics” of ensuring students perform. This is because the teachers need to avoid the penalties involving burdensome additional work and being labeled as non-productive.

The system, containing a diverse inclusion of special cases of groups on a number of issues like disability and economical disadvantages, fails to give an equal way of determining performance for all the students. Determination of how far and the extent of negative impact of socio-economic influence on particular students may present a difficulty and disputed upon. There have been arguments that the federal government does not have constitutional authority in education and it is a technical option to participate in NCLB: States may want to escape meeting the NCLB requirements as long as they do not want the funding brought by the federal (Holland, 2004). The program can therefore be blamed for the disadvantages since this may discourage uniformity in the education sector. Institutions may also continue to strive to work hard, receive financial support and enjoy good reputations as a choice by more parents while straining the teachers. The system may encourage teachers to make predictions of tests contents, which may finally affect learning of students and lead to deterioration of student performance. It has had been reported for example that many pupils performed poorly on math problems requiring use of Pythagorean Theorem in determining the distance between two points in two tests of Michigan and New York States. Teachers have had been indicated to miss greatly on this issue because of predicting of the tests and wrongly, if higher order and well constructed items would be presented in a test rather than items of rote knowledge or skills (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005).

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The standardization of tests has had been criticized by Cohen and Spenciner (2007), which may conflict with IDEA requiring schools to accommodate the students with disabilities. Teachers must be well prepared through appropriate programs to achieve the desired results. Teachers should be availed enough equipments and skills continually in order to achieve good performance other than blame them for the students’ failure. This can be incorporated in the process and program during their training or can be enhanced through continued education.

Conclusion

The implementation of the No Child is Left Behind present some advantages and disadvantages. Its full implementation according to the original idea will result in not only assisting the students in performance, parents in getting a value for their money but also help keep the teachers on toes to doing their job and maintain professionalism and accountability. It may however, lead to the deterioration of the level of standards of education and quality by encouraging teachers to only teach what they think will be tested, extra burden on teachers and technical problems on evaluation if further ways to counteract this are not implemented.

References

“Accountability for Assessment Results in the No Child Left Behind Act: What It Means for Children with Disabilities.” (2003). National Center on Educational Outcomes. Reagents of the University of Minnesota. 2006. Web.

Cohen, L. G. & Spenciner, L. J. (2007). Assessment of children & youth with special needs. (3rd edition). Boston: Pearson.

Holland, R. Critics are many, but law has solid public support. School Reform News. 2004. The Heartland Institute. Web.

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Macarthur, C. A., & Cavalier, A. R. (2004). Dictation and speed recognition technology as test accommodations. Exceptional children, 71(1), pp. 43-58.

Mizell, H (2003). NCLB: “Conspiracy, Compliance, or Creativity?” 2008. Web.

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design, 2nd Edition. Alexandria. VA.pp. 42-43.

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